We came across a comment on an article about how virtual private networks protect against identity theft, and found that the commenter was misinformed about how VPN works. A better jobs needs to be done to educate people on the benefits of VPN and how the technology works. Here?s the full comment:
A VPN does not prevent a user from ?visiting malicious sites or downloading malicious software.? That statement is not true and may give some people an improper level of confidence in their security. As later stated, some VPN providers block access to known malicious sites and files but it is an impossible task to know them all. Therefore, people should be careful and smart about where they go and what they download even when connected to a VPN. Also, it is not true that VPN connections are completely anonymous. The company supplying you VPN services must route the data from your requests to your IP. Many VPN providers advertise that this information is not retained; however, there is always some level of tracking or logging. People must trust the company that provides them VPN access in that they will secure their (the user?s) information on principle and by ensuring the provider?s own security. There are many other things to consider when shopping for a VPN provider (e.g. the encryption mechanism is very important); however, these two points are of the utmost importance.
The sentence that?s misinformed is the one that says it?s untrue that VPN connections are anonymous. The commenter says it?s untrue because the VPN provider knows you who you are because it has to route the data and retain personal identifiable information in some way. This line of reasoning is flawed for several reasons:
VPN connections can be completely anonymous if done correctly, and at least keep you anonymous to the most important of parties. The main point of why the commenter said it was untrue is because the VPN provider knows who you are. If anyone needs to know who you are in order to keep you anonymous, it?s the VPN provider.
This blog post was sponsored. It was written by Allison Reilly, CEO and Founder of Stirring Media LLC, a content marketing and news production firm based in St. Louis.